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NASCAR's Tony Stewart Not Facing Criminal Charges So Far in Fatal Crash

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Rochester: NASCAR's Tony Stewart Not Facing Criminal Charges So Far in Fatal Crash
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CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. -- NASCAR Driver Tony Stewart is at the center of an investigation into a fatal crash that left a fellow driver, 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. of Port Leyden, dead.

Stewart has been questioned by investigators, but Ontario County Sheriff Phil Povero said there are no charges at this time.

"There's no evidence in hand or no facts that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent on the part of anybody," he said.

Povero said he's still collecting evidence, including any videos spectators may have taken of the race. He's also looking for racing experts to analyze the track and did not rule out future charges against Stewart.

The crash happened at Canandaigua Motorsports Park Saturday night during the Lucas Oil Super Sprint Feature Race. Cell phone video shows the incident unfolding. Investigators said the crash happened at the exit of turn two during the 14th lap of the 25-lap race.

Ward's car hit a wall, and the race was then put into caution, slowing the cars on the track. Povero said at that time, the cars on the track were going about 30 to 35 mph.

"There's no indication that the caution was not being observed by the cars on the track including Mr. Stewart," Povero said.

Investigators said Ward jumped out of his car and started to walk the track. Another driver swerved to avoid hitting Ward, but it was Stewart's car that hit him.

Ward was transported to FF Thompson Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Povero said investigators also watched the video of the crash and are reviewing the case with the Ontario County district attorney.

Povero said they're taking into account several factors into this case. They’re also looking at the lighting in the area of the accident.

"Certainty, that's a dimly lit part of the track and that’s something that's looked at, as well as clothing as well as other conditions that would impact visibility in that area," he said.

The investigation moved forward Sunday when deputies reconstructed the crash scene. Povero said they’re now looking at the conditions of the track, which he said were wet and muddy Saturday.

"You literally picked up the clay surface on shoes and tires, because of those conditions," said Povero.

Povero said Stewart has made himself available and is fully cooperating in their investigation.

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